The Secret Garden is a certified National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat certificate number 124,907!
All around us, the natural habitat for wildlife is decreasing, disappearing. In the Secret Garden, we choose to create a garden that works to restore the ecological balance. We plant native plants. We have a multilevel water feature. We provide shelter and cover places for raising young. We practice sustainable gardening by being an organic garden with soil and water conservation.

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Hi Friends,

It’s me, McNugget! It’s been a while since I introduced myself to you. I think maybe I should tell you what I’ve been up to. I’m still with the Hurrle family. I enjoy hanging around Dan, Adam, Mary, and my best friend, Pepper. Pepper is my canine sister. My favorite human though is my mom, Beth. She feeds me, brushes my fur, walks me daily and, overall, she takes care of me. Dad calls me a “mama’s boy,” if that’s what I am, I really don’t mind!

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I had never realized the importance of volunteerism to this extent until I began interning at the Ronald McDonald House. Now that I am an intern here I see how much it takes to maintain the House and how important it is to the families staying there to get the care their children need while being able to stay with them to do so.

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I am ecstatic that summer has begun! In particular, I am excited for the Wednesday Movie Night program to continue over the summer.  The program has been expanded recently, including themed nights. For instance, last week we just did a fish-themed night for Finding Nemo which included fish stuffed animals and books to accompany the movie. In the coming weeks, we are planning dog-themed nights, where McNugget will stop by to watch movies with our guests. The movie night will also soon be moving back down to the conference room, where a big projection screen is available to play the movies.

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It was a hard winter. In April, the Secret Garden plants were brown from winter desiccation and animal damage. The landscape looked dismal, the worst in the Garden’s 13 springs. Very slowly, little by little, the Garden awakened. The gardeners began their dedicated work of renewal. The first warm spring rain started new growth, longer days brought more color. However, many of our plants did not come back. We are still nurturing some struggling survivors. Creatively, we are planting new, stronger varieties and putting protection around plants vulnerable to animals.

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I had known a few things about the Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) before starting as an intern. My grandmother volunteered at the House before she passed and has a leaf on the donor tree above the fireplace. As a child, my brother and I donated a portion of the sales from our annual lemonade stand to RMHC, because we wanted to help kids. RMHC has always held a special place in my heart, so when I got offered an internship for the summer, I was over the moon excited!

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“Make it happen” is a motto that I live by, day in and day out, in my professional and personal life. So when it came time for my husband and I to hold our annual Milwaukee Brewers get together with a group of friends, I thought “make it happen” would be the perfect mantra to get those friends involved in an easy and fun philanthropic effort for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Eastern Wisconsin.

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Last August, I was still pretty new to the McDonald’s family. I started working on the public relations business for McDonald’s Restaurants of Southeastern Wisconsin in May 2013, and I was immediately impressed with amount of time and support McDonald’s gave to the community. I also learned quickly that Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and McDonald’s had a very close relationship, one that worked together to support the mission of the House. The Rock the House event does just that – brings together McDonald’s owner/operators, friends of RMHC and supporters of the cause to raise money for families in need.

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Thank you to everyone who made Tab Toss Day 2014 a huge success! It was great to see House volunteers, girl scouts, law enforcement, media, and members of the community come together to celebrate Tab Toss Day! A huge Thank you to United Milwaukee Scrap for hosting us! Check out some preliminary photos. More information, photos, and totals to follow! Happy Monday!

See you next Spring at Tab Toss Day 2015!

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In April 1991, during a Senior Little League practice, our son Adam was struck on the left side of his head by a thrown baseball. During the next few days, he suffered a series of Petit Moll seizures, followed by massive Grand Moll seizures. He was hospitalized at Children’s Hospital for ten days. We spent the days and nights with him at the hospital. Thankfully, our son recovered.

While we were there, we met a number of parents whose children were in the hospital suffering from very serious illnesses. Those parents shared with us how wonderful it was to have the presence of Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin.  They felt that the Ronald McDonald House, and its staff made them feel like they had “a home away from home,” and helped them tremendously in dealing with the medical problems of their children.

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